If you have an Iranian friend or you grew up in an Iranian family, you know that the tahdig is an inseparable part of Persian rice dishes. A crunchy and delicious layer of rice that has taken on the aroma and color of saffron. It is interesting to know that there are several types of tahdig and they are prepared in different ways. Are you ready to see what we need for the classic crispy tahdig recipe?
What is Tahdig? (Crispy or Scorched Rice)
The word “Tahdig” means the bottom of the pot, which refers to a thin and crispy layer of rice that forms when rice is cooked. Of course, tahdig can be made with other ingredients such as potatoes, bread, lettuce, and various seeds such as sunflower seeds and sesame, which we will explain in this post.
Types of Tahdig
Like other Iranian dishes, tahdig has different types and is prepared in different ways.
Classic Saffron Rice Tahdig Recipe
Tahdig with rice consists of cooked rice and bloomed saffron. To cook saffron rice tahdig, rinse rice until the water went clear. Place rice in a large pan filled with water. Add some salt and let it cook. The rice is done after 6 to 8 minutes when it begins to rise to the top and the water comes back to a boil. Check the rice is cooked at the end by trying a grain. Break one grain in half. Rice should be soft on the outside but hard in the middle. Pour rice into the colander to drain. Take some drained rice and mix it with bloomed saffron in a bowl. Pour the saffron rice mixture into the bottom of the non-stick pot in which you heated the oil. Then spread the saffron rice on the bottom of the pot with a spoon. Add the rest of the rice and let it cook completely until the rice is fluffy and tender and the crust is crispy and golden.
Saffron Tahdig with Yogurt and Eggs
First, brew saffron with boiling water and let it cool. Then mix bloomed saffron with salt, yogurt, and egg. When it is smooth, add some semi-cooked and drained rice to this mixture and mix well. Pour the mixture into the bottom of the non-stick pot in which you heated the oil. Then spread the saffron rice on the bottom of the pot with a spoon. Add the rest of the rice and let it cook completely until the rice is fluffy and tender and the crust is crispy and golden.
Another popular tahdig is a potato tahdig that you can make with sliced potatoes or even grated potatoes. Slice a large potato and place slices on the bottom of the pot. Next, add the semi-cooked and drained rice and let the tahdig turn golden with gentle heat.
Bread Tahdig Recipe
Lavash bread is usually used to make the bread crust, but if you do not have traditional Iranian Lavash bread, you can also use pita bread or flour tortilla because they are thin and give a crispy and good crust. To do this, pour a little oil at the bottom of the pot and let the oil heat. Depending on the size of the pot, place one or two layers of bread on the bottom of the pot to cover the entire surface, and then add the rice.
First of all, let me say that the lettuce tahdig is great with baghali polo and sabzi polo. After washing, let the lettuce leaves soak in boiling water for one minute to soften. Put two layers of lettuce on the bottom of the pot and pour the rest of the semi-cooked rice on it.
Pro Tips for Having Crispy Tahdig
To prepare a golden and crispy crust, you need to have a suitable pot. In order for the tahdig to be completely and effortlessly separated from the pot, you must use non-stick pots. The pot you cook rice crust in it should be non-stick, transfer heat evenly and have a smooth and even surface. The best pots for having golden and crispy tahdig are cast iron pots and non-stick pots.
First, put the pot on the heat. Then add some oil. To make a golden crust, make sure you add enough oil, as the right amount of oil helps the crust to be crispy during cooking, and a large amount of it will be absorbed by the bread. You can add a little salt and saffron or turmeric to the oil at this step. Cover the bottom of the pot with a layer of lavash bread or flour tortilla. If your bread is too thin, you can put two layers of bread. If you do not have cast iron or a non-stick pot, to separate the crust more easily, turn off the flame 10 minutes before serving the rice, but do not remove the lid.
Tahdig with Rice Cooker
Cooking rice with a rice cooker is both quick and very easy. If you want to prepare the steamed rice, boil the rice in a pot. Turn on the rice cooker. Pour a little oil into the rice cooker. Mix some drained rice and bloomed saffron. Spread saffron rice on the bottom of the rice cooker pot. Scoop the rice back into the pot. Adjust the heat of the rice cooker. If necessary, add half a glass of water and let the rice cook well.
Did you like the classic tahdig recipe? Leave your comment below and If you make this recipe, be sure to tag your photos #yummynotes
Looking for More Persian Recipes?
- 3 cups long-grain rice
- Vegetable oil
- 8 cups of water
- 4 tablespoons bloomed saffron(Liquid Saffron)
- 1 lavash naan(optional)
Rinse rice until the water went clear. Place rice in a large pan filled with water. Add some salt and let it cook. The rise is done after 6 to 8 minutes when it begins to rise to the top and the water comes back to a boil. Check the rice is cooked at the end by trying a grain. Break one grain in half. Rice should be soft on the outside but hard in the middle. Pour rice into the colander to drain; then set aside.
In a large pot heat 2 tablespoons of oil or butter. Arrange potato slices or Lavash naan. Pour the rice back into the pot.
Add 1/2 cup water and bloomed saffron to the rice. Cover the lid with a clean dishcloth and put it on the pot.
Cook over medium heat until the rice starts steaming, then lower the heat and let it steam for another 30 minutes until fully cooked.
Turn the heat off. Transfer the rice to the dish and gently separate the tahdig from the pot and place it next to the rice.